By Jen Gillespie, Fall 2011 CAB Intern

Here’s a little insight on a group of Southwest Kansas Angus ranchers known for sourcing great replacement females all over the Plains. Veterinarian Randall Spare has a motto – “Success breeds success.” And to run a successful cowherd, he believes in three essentials: nutrition, genetics, and animal health.

Spare chooses bulls that build his herd

“To perform to the greatest degree, you have to make investments in all three things,” he says. “If you have genetics and don’t have good nutrition or good animal health, the genetic potential is not going to be expressed. Just as, using good genetics and good nutrition, if you don’t use good animal health it will not allow cattle to perform like we know they are able.”

These rocks are cornerstones for the Profit Proven group of commercial Angus producers from near Ashland, Kan. The alliance builds on their Gardiner Angus Ranch genetics with the brand promise of their name. As the resident veterinarian, Spare guides their health protocol: “We feel like, for the herds to perform, there has to be a basic animal health program. As a group, we agree on the basic premises, and then each ranch may do things a little bit differently according to their own management style.”

            Those basics:

  1. All cattle BVD-PI free (no Persistently Infected or carriers of Bovine Viral Diarrhea)
  2. All heifers are OCV’ed (Official Calfhood Vaccinated for Brucellosis)
  3. Cattle are vaccinated with Vibrio/Lepto
  4. Cattle are vaccinated with a killed BVD, IBR (protection against BVD and Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis, safe for any herd)
  5. Pregnancy checked within 2 weeks of delivery
  6. Appropriate parasite control prior to shipment

 The end goal is not only allowing cattle to express their full potential, but also making sure they perform down the line. “These ranchers have made the investment in genetics, animal health, and in their nutrition program so when they sell the animals, the next owner is going to be satisfied,” says Spare. “People know that the cattle will perform just like we say they will.”